With his customary restraint and ruthless attention to detail, director Jean-Pierre Melville follows the parallel tracks of French underworld criminal Gu (the inimitable Lino Ventura), escaped from prison and roped into one last robbery, and the suave inspector, Blot (Paul Meurisse), relentlessly seeking him. The implosive Le deuxiÃ¨me souffle captures the pathos, loneliness, and excitement of a life in the shadows with methodical suspense and harrowing authenticity, and contains one of the most thrilling heist sequences Melville ever shot.
Audio commentary by film scholar Ginette Vincendeau, author of Jean-Pierre Melville: An American in Paris, and film critic Geoff Andrew of the British Film Institute
New video interview with director Bertrand Tavernier, who served as publicity agent on the film
Archival footage featuring interviews with Melville and Lino Ventura